The Quest started off great...and then went down the toilet...and then ended up pretty good.
About an hour into the day today I found myself ahead about $300 and feeling like I was going to have to dump a bottle of champagne over my head. A little while later I was about even when all of sudden the floor dropped out from under me and when I took lunch I was stuck about $700 and feeling super pissed.
I took a long lunch and decided to go over a little of the data that I've gathered with Poker Office. I then compared that data to some of recomendations given in one of my poker books that's geared specifically to 6 handed limit play.
One of the first chapters in this book talks about tracking software and some "metrics" you can use to see if your play is optimal. The most basic one is pre flop raise percentage - meaning of all the hands you are dealt how often do you put in a raise or reraise before the flop. Over the 10,000 hands or so that I've tracked my percentage has been right around 16%. The recommended range in the book is 17%-25%.
Another metric is a thing called "aggression factor." Here's what they say in the book: "Agression Factor (AF)= (#bets+#raises)/#calls. For example if kingbob bets 18 times, raised 12 times and calls 20 times he would have an agression factor of 1.5 ((12+18)/20)."
While this is certianly not an intuitive way to look at things, it can tell you how aggressive a player is relative to others. The target range given in the book is 1.5 to 2.4. My AF is somewhere in the 2.5 range.
Another key metric is Voluntarialy put $ in pot or VPIP. This means how often do you put money in the pot before the flop in the form of calls or raises. The recomended range is 23%-35%. I was surprised to see that I was somewhere around 20%.
So what does all this crap mean? Well as far as I can tell it means I've been playing too tight. When I play a hand I certainly play it strong enough, but I'm simply not playing enough hands. There are two problems with playing too few hands. First and foremost it means you're throwing away positive EV (money making) hands. Secondly it can make you too predictible which is almost as bad.
So I came back after a loooooooong lunch and decided to get in there and mix it up. I won $850 in about an hour. Of course that was mostly because I made an insane number of monster hands and was up against some real nut jobs, but it was certianly some positive reenforcement for my theory.
I came up pretty short on my hands goal(I only played about 2,000), but I won $158 which is just fine given how things have been going and how the day started.
I made a vow about a week ago to stop shaving until I have a +$1,000 day so for the sake of all the people who have to look at me, wish me luck tomorrow.